Lebanese Butcher or Lebanese Taverna?
Which one should we go to? There will be 8 of us catching up during the Holidays. Been to Taverna and like it - never heard of Butcher - what is the atmosphere like?
The atmosphere at the Lebanese Butcher leaves something to be desired. The food, however, is excellent. I think it's better than the Lebanese Taverna, which I would rate as good.
Went to Lebanese Butcher with the wife tonight. We order grape leaves and lamb, Falafal platter, and the roast lamb wrapped in peta. It was outstanding. My favorite was the falafal. Crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy inside. I'd put these up against the one I use to get in NY. Wrapped in a warm pita with cukes, tomato, and other items, it was great.
The grape leaves with lamp came with 10 stuffed grape leaves (they were warm) and big hunks of stewed lamb. The grape leaves were really good (I like these more than the colder version that has the been covered in oil: although those are good too). The best was the stewed lamb. The meat fell off the bone. It was basic comfort food. After eating the meat, I fished out the marrow and eat it with the pita. Awesome.
The lamb in pita was good but next to the other two dishes, it didn't shine as much. I'll have that tomorrow for lunch.
Skip both and head to Layalina at 5216 Wilson Blvd. The atmosphere is great, family-owned, very friendly, gorgeous space, and the food is great. Several preparations of lamb shanks, the shawarma is great, the kafta is also very good. Also a mass of mezze, and a good variety of veg options if that's a concern.
(Between your two options, the Butcher for a more interesting experience.)
TMentzer, I am with you on Layalina being very good, the food is outstanding and the host is a charmer, very helpful with helping newbys order. But it is not cheap. Atmosphere is very welcoming, not unlike the Lebanese Taverna on Wash Blvd, which also has good food, decent atmosphere and great service.
The Lebanese Butcher is a different game altogether. It is a bit of a dive with the butcher just through the swinging doors but I think that adds to the charm, not detracts. I went there with a lebanese friend the first time and thought that the welcome was warm because I was with a 'local' but the friendlieness was there every time I went back, and the food is pretty darned good. A couple of weeks ago I went back, & split a lamb shawarma, a lamb kabob, chicken tawook and lamb ouzi between 4 of us and it was heaven. The hummous and baba ganouj are just a little different than I am used to, but in a good way.
Leah, I have never had a bad meal at any of the three, though, so it is a win-win-win sort of choice.